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New Soma Full Building Mural Unveiling To Kick-off San Francisco Pride Month

During the month of May 2022, five Bay Area mural artists will create a new work at 298 11th Street, in San Francisco.

New Soma Full Building Mural Unveiling To Kick-off San Francisco Pride Month

During the month of May 2022, five Bay Area mural artists will create a new work at 298 11th Street, in San Francisco, on the exterior of the Oasis nightclub/cabaret, one of the largest LGBTQ owned nightclubs in the United States, located in the heart of SOMA. The official unveiling will take place at the beginning of San Francisco Pride Month on Thursday, June 2nd at 3pm, with a celebration later that evening at Oasis from 9pm-2am, hosted by the artists and supporters.

Designed by Serge Gay Jr., Elliott C. Nathan, J Manuel Carmona, Simon Malvaez, and Christopher McCutcheon, the mural, titled "SHOWTIME", will incorporate aspects of Oasis, SOMA, and the queer SF community at large; including LGBTQ nightlife, cabaret, disco, theater, drag, and leather culture. The mural is supported by the LEATHER & LGBTQ Cultural District, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the San Francisco Arts Commission, and Oasis Arts.

"I'm absolutely in love with the talents of these artists", says Oasis owner, D'Arcy Drollinger. "The fact that all five wanted to be involved in this project blew me away. What I'm most fascinated by is how five distinct artists, each with their own unique styles, have collaborated on such a cohesive design. I can't wait to watch their process in real-time throughout May. I'm also incredibly grateful to the LEATHER & LGBTQ Cultural District, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and the San Francisco Arts Commission for joining me in this project to not only enhance the Oasis, but to employ local artists while keeping South of Market fabulously queer."

"We are proud to be involved with such an impressive and beautiful piece of public art," said Bob Goldfarb, Executive Director of the LEATHER & LGBTQ Cultural District. "'SHOWTIME' will be a major addition to the vibrant artistic legacy of SOMA and we are pleased to be able to support local artists in its creation."

The 2,500 square foot mural will wrap the length of the building on both the 11th Street side and along Burns Court. It will depict representations of the community as well as highlighting queer and trans trailblazers such as Bambi Lake, Phatima Rude, Felicia Flames, Tippi, and José Sarria; pioneers who have made spaces like Oasis possible. Oasis has a history of community engagement and outreach, as with our programs such as Meals on Heels, the Oasis TV streaming platform, and nascent nonprofit arts initiative Oasis Arts. Through the mural project Oasis hopes to continue to foster collaboration in public arts spaces.

"QUEER ARTISTS FOR QUEER SPACES began in response to our community asking for a commitment to uplift and raise the profiles of artists within our circles and this project highlights not one, but five artists, each fabulously eclectic and individual in style and technique, to amplify the depth of talent within the Queer Community", says Sister Celine Dionysus. "The dance between individual and collaborative expression mirrors the development of our community's responses to so many challenges in the past. We work best when we work together, and our family is comprised of many different expressions, genders, and identities. It is with great Joy that the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are able to celebrate our diversity with a mural on the walls of the old Oasis Baths and highlight the future that San Francisco's Artists will manifest."

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Serge Gay, Jr. is an American visual artist and creative designer based in San Francisco, California. He has always been an artist. It is in his blood. As a child who recently immigrated from Haiti, his drawing skills were instrumental in connecting with his classmates and teachers. Beginning his practice of painting as a youth and then initiating his formal study at a Magnet Arts High School, Serge was on a steady trajectory for an art college of his choosing. The College for Creative Studies in Detroit became the campus where he refined his illustrative skills and emboldened his voice. Relocating to the Bay Area to pursue an art career, his skill and experience have grown to span a broad range of engagements including graphic design, art directing, gallery exhibitions, event art, and murals throughout the city. His art infuses inspiration reflective of urban realities from coast to coast. Keen to the challenges of our time, influenced by the culture of his homeland, and melded with his life experiences, his voice and the motivation in his work is crisp and clear. His aesthetic incorporates the grit of New York, the beauty of Miami, the wealth of Detroit, and the freedom of San Francisco. All of these places, in their own way, permeate the evolution of his work. Serge owns and operates his own graphic design company named SergeShop and is also a freelance visual art director working with film and video production design teams in Los Angeles, California. One of the major projects he worked on, with longtime collaborator and film director Matt Stawski, yielded a Grammy nomination for best short form music video.

J Manuel Carmona was born in Texas along the Mexican border, raised in Mexico, and then spending the majority of my adult life in the USA, my work is greatly informed by my binational Mexican/American heritage, my queer identity, and the intersection of the LGBTQI and Latino communities of San Francisco. I have explored these communities and concepts through varied and diverse artistic approaches, creating murals, posters, sculptures, and art installations that in some way satisfy my own personal curiosity, respond to the immediate context, honor the message, and impact the spectator. As I continue to explore the power of public art, I hope to use my work to inspire individuals with the pride and love that I feel for my two countries of heritage, my LGBTQI community, and to bring focus to the duality of millions of Mexican-Americans living and traveling between both sides of this border.

Elliott C. Nathan is an artist, muralist, and event producer that has been residing in San Francisco since 2010. I've been a creator of things since I was a little and have enjoyed keeping that curiosity and interest throughout my life. I've painted a handful of murals in SOMA including a 160ft mural on Dore St. and the "Loads of Love" mural on the Power House. My most known mural in the missions is "Love will Prevail" on Valencia Street. I like to vary the style of the work I create playing with elements of abstraction, surrealism, pop art, and doodling. It's always fun to see what can be created when you let the mind wander and the brush lead the path of the work being created. My production company, All The Fun, throws the night life event, Electroluxx, which focuses on showcasing San Francisco's local visual and musical artists. I feel lucky to have had so many opportunities to create custom works of art for peoples homes and local businesses and to collaborate with so many other talented artists.

Simón Malvaez was born in Tijuana, a border city of Mexico and the U.S. He studied graphic design in Mexico City. He currently lives in San Francisco. Inspired by the places he has lived and The Bauhaus founding philosophies. Simón takes basic materials, familiar shapes, and primary colors, pastels, and metallics to celebrate bodies and personalities that have influenced him. Latino culture and the LGBTQ+ community are bold and vibrant in all of his work's. The geometry and composition invites you to disassemble each attribute of the piece and then reinterpret the projected symbols upon the pieces as a whole. It is an invitation to appreciate and deconstruct identity, diversity, representation and inclusion.

Christopher J. McCutcheon, born in Ohio, is a Bay Area based painter, sculptor, and foundry artisan. Christopher's art practice is informed by their commitment to craft, community, and queer culture. Growing up in a strong working class family and now a blue collar worker themselves, bringing people together for the sake of celebrating and creating culture is of the utmost importance. Since earning their BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2015, Christopher has been honing their skills as a mold maker and patina artist at Artworks Foundry in Berkeley. Though sculpture has stolen their heart, painting was their first love. Their abstracted and suggestive figures employ playful humor relevant to their queer identity. The Bay Area has long been a safe haven for many in the LGBTQ community and for Christopher, this means it's time to put in the work to keep it that way. Whether gallery exhibitions, public artworks, or social practice, the future is in finding historically queer spaces that foster creativity, while cultivating new spaces in order to create honest artwork that adds to the conversation of freedom through the arts.



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